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EU and South Korean research organisations sign an agreement to work together on the development of a COVID-19 treatment using Raloxifene

Five research organisations from the EU and South Korea have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for international joint research on COVID-19 treatment. This agreement covers the exchange of clinical and nonclinical trial information related to their research on COVID-19 treatment using the repurposed Raloxifene molecule.

A researcher studying a microscrope
European Union

Three Korean (Gyeonggido Business and Science Accelerator (GBSA), the National Korean Institute of Health (NIH), and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI)) and two EU-funded research organisations (Dompe Farmaceutici and the national Italian supercomputing centre CINECA) have agreed to undertake joint research with the goal of accelerating the development of a COVID-19 treatment. This follows independent research carried out on both sides, including the use of supercomputers, which have concluded that Raloxifene is effective in COVID-19 treatment.

On the European side, Exscalate4CoV, an EU-funded consortium using European supercomputing, announced in June 2020 that Raloxifene, a registered generic drug, could be an effective treatment for the coronavirus. The European Commission is supporting the E4C Consortium with EUR 3 million grant through the Horizon 2020 Research Framework Programme and with an additional EUR 1 million grant for clinical trials through the European Emergency Support Instrument. Currently, these clinical trials are taking place in Italy, in order to validate the safety and efficiency of Raloxifene in blocking the replication of the virus in cells and therefore holding up the progression of the disease.

On the South Korean side, government-funded research organisations including Gyeonggido Business and Science Accelerator (GBSA), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), are developing COVID-19 treatments using supercomputers. In June 2020, the GBSA  announced the results of a joint study with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) that confirmed the suppressive effects of Raloxifene on the COVID-19 virus. In October, the GBSA submitted a Raloxifene clinical trial research plan to the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, expecting to receive authorisation to start the trials very soon.

Under the agreement, participating organisations on both sides will exchange information on non-clinical and clinical trial plans and characteristics of Raloxifene as well as on other COVID-19 antiviral molecules discovered through supercomputer analysis.

More information

DOMPE press release: European and South Korean agreement signed on joint development of a COVID-19 treatment using raloxifene

CINECA press release: South Korean and European Union join forces on research on COVID-19 treatment